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Beginner's guide

From TheKolWiki

The Beginner's Guide

Welcome to the Kingdom of Loathing wiki! Although this guide is meant for players new to KoL, it assumes that you have completed the Toot Oriole Quest. Armed with that basic knowledge, you can use this wiki to discover more about how KoL works.

Although the wiki contains detailed explanations of various quests and puzzles, it can be more fun to figure them out on your own. Of course, if you get stuck, the wiki can help get you back on track.

Contents

Character Creation

Creating a character is simple. You only need to make three choices - your name, your gender, and your class. You can change your gender and your class later, so don't stress over those. Which class is best depends on your preferred play style. Playing a Disco Bandit or Accordion Thief is probably the easiest to start out with, but with some care, any class can work for you.

The Classes

Seal Clubbers and Turtle Tamers are Muscle-based classes. That makes them the best at dishing out damage with melee weapons and surviving combat with their high HP.

Seal Clubbers:

  • Have skills which increase their melee capability significantly, focusing on attacks which increase their weapon's damage.
  • Draw upon mighty reserves of Fury to add to their attacks.
  • Can craft advanced weapons.
  • Can summon Infernal Seals and defeat them in combat for special rewards.
  • Excel when wielding a 1-handed or 2-handed club.

Turtle Tamers:

  • Have skills which increase their melee capability significantly, focusing on attacks which use their armor offensively.
  • Get more benefits from their Familiars.
  • Can receive the blessings of the Great Turtle Spirits.
  • Can craft advanced armor.
  • Can tame wild turtles for special rewards.
  • Excel when wielding a 1-handed melee weapon and a shield.

Pastamancers and Saucerors are Mysticality-based classes. That makes them the best at casting spells with their high MP pools and resisting elemental damage.

Pastamancers:

  • Have spells which deal damage of every element, and spells which prevent enemies from attacking.
  • Can cook advanced food.
  • Can summon Pasta Thralls to assist them in combat.
  • Excel when wielding a chefstaff and a spell-enhancing off-hand item.
  • Have excellent healing spells.

Saucerors:

  • Have spells which deal hot and cold elemental damage.
  • Can cook advanced potions (which grant powerful buffs) and sauces (which Pastamancers can cook into advanced pasta dishes).
  • Can extract Soulsauce from opponents and use it to power special skills.
  • Excel when wielding a chefstaff and a spell-enhancing off-hand item.

Disco Bandits and Accordion Thieves are Moxie-based classes. That makes them the best at not getting hit in combat, and attacking with ranged weapons. They also can use Pickpocket to steal items at the start of combat.

Disco Bandits:

  • Can weaken their enemies with funky dance moves, which build Disco Momentum.
  • Can mix advanced drinks.
  • Excel when wielding a ranged weapon or a knife.

Accordion Thieves:

  • Have a wide variety of powerful buffs, which are usable on yourself or others.
  • Can steal and equip accordions that only Accordion Thieves can handle.
  • Excel when wielding an accordion.
  • Can sneak into all the guild stores (at high level).

Getting Started

Quests

Your main sources of quests are The Council of Loathing and the quest-givers in your Guild Hall, both of which are in Seaside Town. You should visit each of these locations at least once per level to get the latest quests. Other quests can be found scattered throughout the game.

Quests have no time limit; you're free to take as long as you want to complete them. You may want to explore for a while, enjoy the jokes, and look for other quests at first.

To get a list of your current and completed quests, go to Your Campsite and check Your Quest Log. If you're completely stuck on a quest, you can try backtracking to locations you've already been to, examining items in your inventory for clues, smashing a fortune cookie, asking for help in chat, or if all else fails, getting detailed Quest Spoilers from this wiki.

Combat

In the tutorial, you defeated some fluffy bunnies and learned the basics of combat. Specifically, whoever wins initiative will attack first, then the other combatant will respond, with each having a turn to attack or use a skill, spell, or item, until one of you is defeated (or you Run Away). Entering combat against anything tougher than bunnies is likely to end badly for you unless you are prepared! To prevent getting the crap beaten out of you, take stock of your combat abilities:

  • How likely you are to hit with attacks. If you are attacking with a melee weapon (that is, any weapon not marked as a ranged weapon), this is based on your Muscle. If you are attacking with a ranged weapon, this is based on your Moxie. If you are casting a spell, you will always hit.
  • How much damage you do when you hit. If you are attacking with a melee weapon, this is based on your weapon damage and your Muscle. If you are attacking with a ranged weapon, this is based on your weapon damage and your Moxie. If you are casting an attack spell, this is based on the spell, your Mysticality, and your bonus spell damage.
  • How good you are at avoiding attacks. This is based on your Moxie.
  • How much damage you can prevent when you are hit. This is based on your Moxie, the power of your armor (hat, pants, and later shirt), and any Damage Absorption or Damage Reduction you have. If the damage is elemental, your Elemental Resistance is also applied.

Knowing this will help you choose a Combat Style.

  • You can increase your Muscle and Bonus Weapon Damage to deal damage quickly with attacks and weapon-based combat skills. Seal Clubbers and Turtle Tamers are the best at this.
  • You can increase your Moxie to avoid being hit, then deal damage with ranged weapons. This is also known as "plinking". Disco Bandits and Accordion Thieves are the best at this.
  • You can prevent enemies from attacking and deal damage with spells, skills, weapon attacks, or combat items. Pastamancers are the best at this, thanks to their Entangling Noodles spell.

To find out how tough the enemies in a certain area are, see Safe Adventuring. If you can keep your Moxie above the amount listed on that page for that area, monsters will not usually be able to hit you, which will make combat much easier.

Once you've determined what stat you want to focus on, there are a number of ways to increase it.

Some familiars make combat much easier. See the section on familiars, below.

Gaining Adventures

All players receive 40 adventures each day at rollover. Some clan furniture (see clans, below) and some equipment (such as a dead guy's watch or a chrome sword) will increase the number of adventures you gain at rollover, as long as you are a member of the clan, or are wearing that equipment, at rollover. Unused adventures are carried over to the following day (up to a maximum of 200), so don't worry if you are unable to use all of your adventures every day.

As you learned in the tutorial, eating food and drinking booze will get you more adventures. Each food and each booze has a size rating. The size rating is listed in game as "Size" (for food) or "Potency" (for booze) in the item description. You can eat up to 15 fullness, and drink up to 14 drunkenness, per day. If you try to eat beyond your limit, nothing bad will happen, except that you will not be able to eat more until tomorrow; however, if you drink more than your limit, you will be left in a Drunken Stupor, unable to adventure usefully for the rest of the day.

Many players like to drink until they're right at their drunkenness limit (14 by default, 19 later), spend all of their adventures, then end their day with a final drink which puts them over the drunkenness limit (often called a "nightcap"). The gained adventures can then be carried over to the following day.

By default, your fullness level is not displayed by the game. However, you can enable the in-game fullness counter in the Interface section of the Options menu.

Food and booze items also have a quality rating - crappy, decent, good, awesome, or EPIC. This will tell you approximately how many adventures per point of fullness or drunkenness you can expect to gain from that food or booze.

Food and booze can be purchased from shops, dropped by monsters, and received as a quest reward, but many high-quality consumables are crafted by players; see cooking or cocktailcrafting for details. Pastamancers can use Pastamastery to summon and cook dry noodles into high quality pasta, but anyone can cook casseroles, kabobs, pies, and tacos. Similarly, Disco Bandits can use Advanced Cocktailcrafting to summon and mix fancy garnishes to make high quality booze, but anyone can mix schnapps and simple cocktails.

In addition to abusing their livers and stomachs, adventurers have been known to abuse their Spleen to gain adventures, for example, by chewing the twinkly wads that Seal Clubbers create with their Pulverize skill.

Other Activities

Once you're completely out of adventures, you don't have to be done with KoL. You can talk to other members of the Kingdom of Loathing community. Once you pass the test at The Temple of Literacy in The Big Mountains, you can access the in-game chat. You can freely trade with other players, either in the Trade chat channel, in The Flea Market (starting at level 3), or in The Mall of Loathing (starting at level 5). You can also visit the official Forums of Loathing, or listen to Radio KoL.

Or, if you don't mind having the mysteries of the game spoiled for you, you can learn just about everything there is to know about Kol on this wiki!

Your Character

There are six classes in the game. Seal Clubbers and Turtle Tamers are Muscle-based classes. Pastamancers and Saucerors are Mysticality-based classes. Disco Bandits and Accordion Thieves are Moxie-based classes.

Main Stats

  • Muscle - This stat determines your maximum hit points, your chance of hitting with melee attacks, and the damage dealt with melee weapons. Most melee weapons and shirts have minimum muscle requirements. Muscle is an important stat for all characters. Note that the two muscle-based classes gain a 50% hit point bonus -- a Seal Clubber with 80 muscle has more HP than a Pastamancer with the same 80 muscle.
  • Mysticality - This stat determines your maximum MP, and increases spell damage which is important for the two spellcaster (mysticality-based) classes. Many accessories have minimum mysticality requirements. This stat is less important for non-spellcasters. The two mysticality-based classes also gain a 50% MP bonus.
  • Moxie - Determines your defense -- how likely you are to be hit and also how much damage you take upon getting hit. It also determines your hit chance and damage with ranged weapons. Most ranged weapons, hats and pants have minimum moxie requirements. Due to combat formulas it is possible to be almost invulnerable to being hit by a given monster with sufficient moxie. As such, moxie is one of the most important stats, even for muscle- and mysticality-based classes.

Stat Gains

By now you have adventured and noticed that you have gained an alarming variety of different oddly-named stats. Here is the deal: To gain 1 point in a stat (muscle, mysticality or moxie), a certain number of substats are needed. Also, each stat has many different substat names, as shown below, for variety's sake:

  • Muscle - Beefiness, Fortitude, Muscleboundness, Strengthliness, Strongness
  • Mysticality - Enchantedness, Magicalness, Mysteriousness, Wizardliness
  • Moxie - Cheek, Chutzpah, Roguishness, Sarcasm, Smarm.

In other words, gaining +5 Smarm is the same as +5 Cheek. It adds 5 subpoints to your moxie stat. When you have collected a certain number of these moxie substats, then you gain a single point of moxie. There are also many ways to get more stat points from your combats.

The higher your stats, the more points worth of substats you need to acquire for a point in your stat. More on this below....

Levels and Advancement

Your stat values will increase when you get the appropriate number of substats as described above. The most common methods of acquiring these are:

  • Combat - Every fight will give a certain number of substat points, based on the monster's power, as well as bonus stat gains. Stat gains from combat are distributed randomly, but approximately 50% will go to your class's primary stat, and 25% will go to each of your other two stats.
  • Non-Combat - Some non-combat adventures will give you substats. This amount is typically based on the difficulty of the adventuring zone itself, though some scale based on your current stats (to an upper limit), resulting in higher stat gains the higher your stats already are.
  • Eating/Drinking - Most foods and booze grant substat points, in addition to giving you extra adventures.
  • Other usable items - There is a huge variety of usable items, some of which grant substat points when they are used.

You gain levels by achieving a certain number of points in your primary or main stat (which is determined by your character class). The required number increases as you level. Getting to level 2 only requires 5 points in your main stat. Getting to level 10 requires many more points (85).

Your level is used to determine which quests you can go on, so be sure to visit The Council of Loathing and everyone in your Guild every time you level up. Your level also determines what you can eat or drink. If you have not yet ascended, your level also determines when you can buy or sell from other players at the Mall or Flea Market, and when you can join or found a Clan.

See Advancement for more information.

Hit Points

Hit points, also known as HP, is a measure of the health of your character. When you reach 0 HP, you will obtain the Beaten Up effect, and you will be unable to adventure until you regain some HP. You cannot actually die, and being beaten up does not cause you to lose any meat or items. If you run out of HP in combat, you lose the fight, and do not get any stats, items, or meat that you would have gotten if you had won.

The Beaten Up effect reduces your stats significantly, so if you can, you will generally want to remove it by resting at your campsite, by using an item such as a tiny house, or by using a skill such as Tongue of the Walrus. If you were planning to spend turns crafting or fighting easy combats, you can pass the time doing that instead. Finally, a good night's sleep will take care of things - Beaten Up is removed at rollover.

Here are some of the ways to restore HP:

Mana Points

Mana points, also known as MP, are used to power your skills, both in and out of combat. There is no penalty for running out of MP, except that you will not be able to use any skills which require MP.

The game will refer to MP differently based on your class. Muscle classes have "muscularity points", Moxie classes have "mojo points", and Mysticality classes have "mana points". They all work the same, mechanically. For Muscle classes, this can lead to some confusion; the message "You gain 4 Muscularity Points" means you're gaining MP, while "You gain 4 Muscleboundedness" means you're gaining stat points to increase your Muscle stat. Look for the Mpoints.gif icon to distinguish the two.

Here are some of the ways to restore MP:

Equipment

You can equip one hat, one pair of pants, either a 2-handed weapon or a 1-handed weapon plus an off-hand item, a back item, three accessories, and one piece of familiar equipment. Later on, you can gain the ability to wear a shirt, or the ability to dual-wield 1-handed weapons. It is a good idea to keep one of everything you find until you become more familiar with the game, as it is common to swap equipment and find uses for things found long ago.

Like many adventure games, getting better equipment is important. Early on, you can head to The Armory and Leggery in town to get basic equipment. At level 3, you can buy much better equipment from other players through the Flea Market. Items that are equippable can have many attributes. These are the most common:

  • Power - The power of your hat and pants, and later shirt, adds to your character's Damage Absorption, causing you to take less damage from opponents when they hit you. See Damage Absorption, below, for details.
  • Stat boosts - Many items boost your Muscle, Mysticality, and Moxie. You should almost always equip items that boost your primary stat (or Moxie if you are boosting defense).
  • Weapon damage - Usually expressed as a range, for example "5-10". This is the base amount of damage you will deal when you hit with this weapon, before bonuses. In practice, most of your damage will actually come from bonuses (stats and enchantments).
  • HP Regeneration or MP Regeneration - Getting one of these items early on from the Mall or Flea Market is a great idea and well worth the investment. Every adventure you go on, these items restore a certain amount of HP and/or MP. This helps greatly for offsetting HP/MP losses due to combat and skills, as HP/MP can normally only be recovered by resting or consumables which waste resources.
  • Bonus Weapon Damage - This can be strong ability early in the game when opponent HP is low but your damage dealt is also low. In addition, sometimes elemental damage can be more effective against physically resistant foes or those vulnerable to a particular element. However, boosting Muscle and Moxie is generally more effective.
  • Bonus Spell Damage - For Saucerors and Pastamancers, this will increase your damage output significantly.
  • Damage Reduction and Damage Absorption - These attributes both reduce the amount of damage you take in combat, but they are not quite the same. Damage Reduction, usually found on shields, subtracts directly from damage taken. For example, if you would take 30 damage, with DR 5, you only take 25 damage. Damage Absorption, on the other hand, subtracts a percentage of the damage taken. For example, 90 DA provides a 20% reduction in damage, so if you would take 30 damage, with 90 DA, you only take 24 damage. Your main sources of Damage Absorption will usually be the power of your hat, pants, and shirt. Damage Reduction is rarely found on items other than shields.
  • Elemental Resistance - Reduces damage taken of that element by a certain percentage. Elemental Resistance is measured in ranks; Slight resistance gives 1 rank, So-so gives 2, Serious gives 3, and Stupendous gives 4. This is cumulative, so having slight resistance to an element from two sources is the same as having so-so resistance from one source.

Outfits

Outfits are special sets of equipment. When you equip an outfit, your character's avatar will change. Most outfits will give you a new enchantment, such as a boost to your stats. A few will allow you to visit some place previously forbidden. Clicking on the name of the outfit in an item's description or on your character sheet (if you're wearing the whole outfit) will tell you some of the bonuses you get for wearing it, but there may be other hidden bonuses as well!

The first outfits that you will probably find are the Bugbear Costume, the Knob Goblin Elite Guard Uniform or the Knob Goblin Harem Girl Disguise. The Filthy Hippy Disguise will allow you to buy produce from the The Hippy Store, and the Swashbuckling Getup will let you infiltrate deeper into the Pirate Cove. Note that in your Inventory/Equipment tab there is even a dropdown box that auto-detects and equips any particular outfit that you have in your inventory.

You can (and should) create custom outfits with your normal equipment for easy swapping. How many custom outfits you want to make is up to you. Some players just have one, with their favorite fighting equipment. Other players have different outfits for different tasks (fighting, meat farming, item farming, high elemental resistance, etc.).

Wearing a non-custom outfit and visiting the Pretentious Artist (after you've recovered his things) will unlock a tattoo for your use.

Effects and Buffs

In the tutorial, you used one of your non-combat skills to give yourself 5 turns of a positive effect. Skills that give you an effect are sometimes called "buffs", but this is confusing because the game uses the word "buff" specifically to mean "a skill that you can cast on other people or yourself". So, some people call everything a buff, while other people call non-buff skills "self-buffs". The game calls them "non-buffs" in at least one place. For the purposes of this section of the guide, we'll just use the word "buff" to mean "any skill that gives you a useful effect".

Casting a buff multiple times will increase its duration. For example, casting Moxie of the Mariachi once will give you 5 adventures of Mariachi Mood, so casting it 6 times will give you 30 adventures of the effect. If you have a buff active and cast it again, the turns you gain will be added to the turns you already have; you will not lose turns of a buff by casting it again. By level 3 or 4, you will likely want your basic buff active at all times. Depending on your class, buffing yourself may be a better way of spending MP than using combat skills.

Some buffs only affect the player that cast them, but many are castable on other players. Receiving buffs from others can make the game significantly easier. The fastest way to receive buffs from others is by using a Buffbot. Most buffbots are used by sending a small amount of meat via the in-game message system (also known as Kmail) in exchange for buffs, but read the instructions for each individual bot to see how it works. If you don't know what a buff that a bot is offering does, look it up on this wiki; some buffs, such as Ur-Kel's Aria of Annoyance, can make your life far more difficult if you're not prepared for their effects.

If you have received an effect and you aren't sure what it does, you can always click on its icon to get a popup description. If for some reason you don't want this effect, there are ways to remove them. If the effect is a true "buff" (a skill that can be cast on another player), you can remove it by right-clicking the effect icon, and then confirming that you really want it gone. You can also remove true buffs by typing "/shrug nameofeffect" in the chat interface.

If you want to remove an effect that isn't a true buff, you have a few options:

Skills are not the only source of effects; many items also grant effects. Most items which grant effects will be in your miscellaneous inventory, under (Mostly) Potions. Viewing a potion's description will tell you what effect it will grant, and for how many adventures; clicking on the name of the effect in this box will switch to the description of the effect. Three very useful potions are available from The Market in Seaside Town: Ben-Gal™ Balm, glittery mascara, and hair spray grant effects which give +15% Muscle, Mysticality, and Moxie, respectively. Some non-potion items will also grant effects, including food, booze, or spleen items.

Familiar

A Familiar is a companion who will accompany your character, and help out during combat. At any given time, you can have one active familiar, and any number of other different familiars in storage in your Familiar-Gro™ Terrarium. Familiars generally become more effective as they gain levels, which is represented by its weight. Familiars start at 1 pound and can grow to 20 pounds naturally, but their weight can be boosted even more by buffs and equipment. The Cake-Shaped Arena is a place where your familiar can adventure. Upon winning 5 events there, you are awarded with a special item that occupies your "familiar equipment" slot and increases the effectiveness of your familiar.

You will receive a mosquito larva as a reward for completing the Spooky Forest Quest at level 2. If you want to try other familiars, here is a short list of some that are pretty common and useful. Most of these hatchlings can be bought in the Mall, but your Clan may also have some of the lower cost familiar hatchlings available.

Many more familiar hatchlings can be found by browsing the familiars section of the Flea Market or The Mall. Doing this will give you an idea of approximately how rare (or difficult to assemble) each one is and you might be able to easily pick up some new friends this way.

Sometimes, it may not be obvious what your familiar is doing. Clicking on a familiar's picture in your Terrarium will usually give you a short description of its abilities. In addition, there are several Common Metaphors that will help you figure it out. For example, if a familiar smiles at the end of a combat, it will usually give extra stats, like a volleyball; if it winks, it will usually boost meat drops, like a leprechaun; if it dances, it will usually boost item drops, like a gravy fairy.

Other Stuff

Guilds/Training

Every class has a Guild Hall. This guild is a visitable location in town filled with NPCs and should not be confused with a Clan, which consists of other player character members. Before you can take advantage of your Guild's services, you must pass a test. Speak to your guild leader, adventure where he tells you to go until the task is complete, then return to your Guild Hall.

Each Guild has:

  • A guild leader, who assigns your initial quest
  • A trainer, who will sell you your class skills for meat
  • Three members who will assign you quests
  • A shop which sells class-specific items

Clans

You can very easily join a Clan starting at level 3. It is a good idea to do so, as it costs nothing and the reward is large. Many large and newbie-friendly clans advertise with the Clan Recruiter in Seaside Town.

In addition to the advice you can receive from other clan members in the Clan's Chat channel, you may be able to obtain useful items from the Clan Stash. How the Stash is run is different in every Clan, but in general, members can deposit items in the Stash to obtain Clan Karma, then spend that Clan Karma to withdraw different items from the Stash. This can be a good way to get certain items for quests and easy mid-level food and booze. In addition, items in the Clan Rumpus Room can give boosts such as bonus adventures per day, free meat, or free buffs, depending on what furnishings the particular clan has chosen to obtain.

Having a Clan VIP Lounge key (a special Mr. Store item) allows you to get access to the Clan VIP Lounge which is like the Rumpus Room, but with cooler and more powerful toys. The key is available in The Mall, but for a very high price. It is sold at Mr. Store whenever the monthly special is a VIP Lounge furniture item, so if you want to obtain one, waiting until this happens will be your best bet.

Clans also have basements which have dungeons that you should challenge when you are a high level.

The Hermit

The Hermitage in the Big Mountains is the source of several unique items, such as the volleyball and seal tooth mentioned above, and the ten-leaf clover mentioned below. To trade with the hermit, you must have a hermit permit, and one worthless item (a worthless trinket, worthless gewgaw, or worthless knick-knack). The permit is available for sale at The General Store in Market Square in Seaside Town; the worthless items are not available for sale directly, but you can get them by buying chewing gum on a string from the Store and using it.

Stat Days

The moons that you see in the upper-right corner are not just for flavor. If the combination is right, a 25% boost will be given to any gain to a certain stat that day.

  • If Grimace is full, the bonus will be given to muscle stat gains.
  • If Ronald is full, the bonus will be given to mysticality stat gains.
  • If both moons are either a double waning crescent, or a double new moon, the bonus will be given to moxie stat gains.

Sometimes it's a good idea to save some adventures for a stat day to maximize your gains.

The stat gain bonus from the moons does not apply if you are in Ronin or Hardcore.

Holidays

On certain days of the Kingdom of Loathing Calendar, holidays are celebrated. These will happen once every KoL year (96 days), or 3-4 times every real-life year. Several holidays are also celebrated on or close to the real-world holiday that they're based on. For example, St. Sneaky Pete's day will occur both on Starch 3 of the KoL calendar and March 17 (St. Patrick's Day) of the real-life calendar.

  • Jarlsuary 1 - Festival of Jarlsberg - All skills cost 3 less MP to use, and the party hat may be purchased and used.
  • Frankuary 4 - Valentine's Day - Special Valentine's day themed items may be purchased from The Gift Shop.
  • Starch 3 - St. Sneaky Pete's Day - Special adventures may be found by overdrinking and adventuring in a stupor. Green beer may be brewed. The Hermit has extra clovers.
  • April 2 - Oyster Egg Day - Oyster Eggs are hidden throughout the Kingdom; the placement changes every holiday.
  • Martinus 2 - El Dia de Los Muertos Borrachos - The Day of the Drunk Dead. Special wandering monsters will pop up throughout the day, allowing you to obtain special booze.
  • Bill 3 - Generic Summer Holiday - A Reasonably-Sized Fountain opens for swimming. This will give you a special stat gain bonus depending on what floaty you use.
  • Bor 4 - Dependence Day - The General Store will sell fireworks which will grant a +50% stat bonus to one stat.
  • Petember 4 - Arrrbor Day - The Arrrboretum opens up for adventuring, and the rewards of the prior Arrrbor Day may be found.
  • Carlvember 6 - Labór Day - An extra 10 adventures will be given to you at rollover. This is applied after the cutoff point, so it is possible to start with 210 adventures.
  • Porktober 8 - Halloween - You may go trick or treating for special candy, depending on which outfit you wear.
  • Boozember 7 - Feast of Boris - Your stomach's capacity is boosted by 15. In addition, special wandering monsters will appear to fight, dropping special food.
  • Dougtember 4 - Yuletide - You may listen to ghost stories and toast marshmallows.

There are a few holidays celebrated only according to the real-life calendar:

Ten-Leaf Clovers

You might have noticed ten-leaf clovers at the Hermitage. They are interesting in that if you adventure with one in your inventory, they automatically trigger special Clover Adventures at many locations, causing one clover to disappear. These are non-combat adventures, many of which give you special item or a stat boost, far in advance of anything you would normally receive.

If you would like to save your clovers, you can "use" them to change them into disassembled clovers and reassemble them as desired. Or, if you prefer, you may store them in Your Colossal Closet.

Semi-Rare Adventures

Once every 160-200 turns, each character has a chance to encounter a special adventure; these are known as Semi-Rare Adventures. Most of these adventures are non-combats which give powerful consumable items, which can be used or sold for large amounts of meat, as desired.

You can figure out when your next Semi-Rare adventure will occur by eating fortune cookies. Each time you eat one, the number of turns until your next Semi-Rare will be one of your three "lucky numbers"; thus, if you eat two in a row, you will usually have only one number appear in both lists, and this is the number of turns until your next Semi-Rare.

Note that you cannot get the same Semi-Rare adventure twice in a row; once you get one, you have to get a different one before the first one will re-occur.

If you have access to a Clan VIP Lounge which contains A Speakeasy, you may also be able to learn when your next Semi-Rare adventure is due by drinking a Lucky Lindy.

Buying and Selling

At level 3 you can buy stuff from other players at The Flea Market in town. This is a pretty big deal, since you can boost your power significantly by picking up solid accessories, plus fill in any missing equipment slots. The best use of the Flea Market is to get food and booze. The stuff you find early on is pretty bad. Instead, you can buy fairly low-level food/booze that's much better. For example, drinking Mad Train wine will give you 3 adventures for 3 drunkenness. However, if you buy a CSA scoutmaster's "water", you would get 9 adventures for 3 drunkenness, along with a bunch of substats.

At level 5, you can go to The Mall of Loathing and buy stuff. This is almost always cheaper than the Flea Market, has a far greater variety, and is strongly recommended.

At level 9, you can purchase a store in the Mall for 50,000 meat. This should be done as soon as you can, as you can now sell to anyone and avoid the listing fees of the Flea Market.

The /trade chat channel can also be used to buy and sell items to other players. If you want to haggle on the price of an expensive rare item, this is the place to do it.

Winning the Game/Ascension

You can "win" the game by completing all of the Council's quests, defeating the Naughty Sorceress and freeing the King. You have to be at least level 13 to do this, but many players are much higher level by the time they finish this task.

KoL's designers have cleverly created a scheme for keeping your interest long past when you have "won". Once you beat the main quest, you can ascend and restart the game as any class. You start over as a level 1 character, and your items are put into a storage locker to which you will have restricted access. There are several choices to make when ascending. Do you want your next life to be easy, or would you like to take on some voluntary restrictions and challenges in order to receive better rewards? Many items, trophies, skills, adventures and areas are ONLY available to ascended players that have given themselves restrictions. There are a variety of fun ways to play out your next life, and you can try them all!

When you ascend you will have the option to keep one of your skills from your current life to be permanently usable for all other incarnations. Hence, you can continue to build up your character by cherry picking skills from all 6 classes!

Ascension is fairly complicated, so be sure to read through the details before you shuffle off this mortal coil. Once you start ascending, if you are looking for strategy tips, you can try asking on the forums, or check Ascension Strategy for normal ascensions or Hardcore Strategy for hardcore ascensions. Specific advice on those two pages can become outdated quickly, but the general advice is useful. Each special challenge path also has its own unique strategies; see the path's wiki page for details.

Ascension lingo: Softcore, Hardcore, Aftercore, Moon Sign, and Path

If you visit the forums you will hear much discussion about this. As a quick primer however, here is an overview:

  • Hardcore (HC) - An ascension where you are on your own with no usage of previously earned items or outside buffs. You can still use all of your familiars, and any skills you have taken as Hardcore Permanent (HP).
  • Softcore (SC) - A nickname for a "Normal" ascension. This is an ascension where you are on your own for 1000 turns, called a Ronin period. During the Ronin period, you will not be able to accept items or buffs from other players, but you will have limited access to items you have already earned. You can still use all of your familiars, and any skills you have taken as Permanent (P) or Hardcore Permanent (HP).
  • Casual - An ascension where you can use all your existing items, meat, familiars, skills you have taken as Permanent or Hardcore Permanent, and outside buffs.
  • Path - Can be No-Path (NP) with no restrictions, Boozetafarian (B) with no food, Teetotaler (T) with no booze, Oxygenerian (Oxy or O) with no booze or food, or a special challenge path.
  • Moon Sign - You may choose one of 9 different signs for your new incarnation; each provides a bonus to stat gains in one stat, access to a special adventuring area, and another small bonus. There is also a special Bad Moon sign, which must be unlocked before you can choose it.
  • Aftercore - The common name for activities that occur after you have completed the Naughty Sorceress Quest and freed King Ralph XI but before you start a new ascension. These include high level areas such as Fernswarthy's Basement, dungeons such as Hobopolis and The Slime Tube in the Clan Basement, The Sea, and others. They provide adventuring locations with high level loot as an alternative to ascending. After freeing the King, you are no longer bound by the restrictions of your lifestyle or path.

Alternate Interfaces and Tools

While a bit beyond the scope of a beginner's guide, it is worthwhile to note that several alternative interfaces exist for KoL which can automate actions, provide additional information or assistance during gameplay, or simply provide a more customized GUI for the player. In addition, many web-based tools can assist with particular portions of the game. More information may be found here.

Collectible

As an open-ended game, Kingdom of Loathing doesn't have concrete goals. Instead, players choose their own objectives. Many players choose to collect things, as a measure of their progress, or to show off.

Tattoos can be obtained from several sources; however, almost all of them will come from the Pretentious Artist (after completing his quest). You can also gain various tattoos from ascending, drinking a martini, visiting a Tattoo Shop, or eating some delicious salad. You can only show off one tattoo at a time.

Trophies can be purchased from the Trophy Hut for 10,000 meat apiece. There are numerous trophies in the game, and each has special requirements that you must satisfy in order to purchase it. (Discovering what those requirements are is part of the challenge.) Most trophies can be obtained during a single ascension; however, it will take many ascensions in order to get them all. All of your trophies are visible (by default) to players who click your name. You may hide some of them if you like, or rearrange the order in which they are displayed, by visiting your trophy case in your campsite.

Items may be placed into a Display Case and arranged onto shelves. Some players collect large numbers of a single item, or a few items. Some players collect as many different items as possible. Some players put the items on the shelves to create thematic or humorous arrangements, etc.

The familiars in your terrarium are also visible to other players by default (though you can hide them, in the account menu). Some people like to collect as many familiars as possible, and show off their terrariums. Some players like to give clever names to their familiars.

Your permanent skills are not visible to other players by default, but they can be marked visible in the account menu. Some people take pride in their large numbers of "permed" skills. Letting other players see your permed skills also helps them to help you, if you are asking for advice on which skills to acquire next.

Strategies and Guides (Warning: Spoilers)

If you want a bit of extra direction on how to more efficiently play during your first few days, read these tips.

Meat Farming

Between food, booze, HP and MP restorers, new equipment, and especially new skills, being an adventurer is an expensive proposition! Here are some ways to make Meat easily.

  • Sales of ten-leaf clovers from the Hermit are limited to a small number per player per day. They cost less than 300 Meat each to obtain and can be sold in the trade chat channel, Flea Market, or Mall for much more. Many players can make good use of these clovers and will pay for the privilege.
  • Once you hit level 5, the Treasury of Cobb's Knob is a good source of Meat; you can go undercover as a Knob goblin to earn several hundred Meat per day with no risk, and you can continue adventuring there to earn even more.
  • If you don't have a specific clan that you want to join, but you need Meat, go to the Clan Recruiter in Seaside Town, open the Advanced Search, and search for a clan with any or all of An Exotic Hanging Meat Orchid (in the first clan furniture dropdown), A Potted Meat Bush (fourth dropdown), and A Potted Meat Tree (sixth dropdown). Using these furnishings in the Clan Rumpus Room will give you 3000 Meat per day.

General Tips

  • One path through the Arboreal Respite adventure in The Spooky Forest will lead you to the famed Vampire Hunter G, who will give you wooden stakes. If you have these equipped while you fight the Vampires in the forest, you will get vampire hearts, which you can turn in to Vampire Hunter G to obtain bottles of used blood, which will give you stat points when used. You can also combine the stakes with a bar skin to make an improved tent for your campground.
  • At level 4, visit your Guild. You can pick up your Epic Weapon quest which is relatively easy to accomplish, has no combat required, will boost your character significantly, and leads to even greater rewards as part of the Me and My Nemesis quest line.

Character Guides

This section briefly describes the playstyle of each character class and provides some hints on how to get the most out of your character. It should be noted that as players advance, they can permanently learn skills from any class, thus customizing and developing their character as desired. Therefore, this section is simply for basic information when considering what class to play and for those who are playing a class for the first time.

At the broadest level the classes can be divided into three specialities: muscle, mysticality, and moxie. Each of these specialities has a guild, a patron figure, an aligned early level area, and post-ascension area.

Muscle Mysticality Moxie
Seal Clubber
Hits hard, kills fast, especially when on a spree. Makes best weapons.
Pastamancer
Has versatile offense spells. Uses Thralls to round out weaknesses. Makes best foods.
Disco Bandit
Evades attacks, and weakens opponents to finish them off. Makes best drinks.
Turtle Tamer
Hits hard, resists damage. Slow start, but consistent. Makes best armor.
Sauceror
Has a range of attack spells, and is very self-sufficient. Makes best potions.
Accordion Thief
Evades attacks, and keeps self powerful passively. Has powerful musical buffs.

Seal Clubber

  • This class relies on Muscle which boosts their HP significantly higher than other classes. Furthermore, Muscle determines their hit ability with melee weapons and also increases damage. They generally aim to hit hard and kill quickly before the foe can inflict much damage in return.
  • Seal Clubbers have both passive and active skills which increase their melee capability significantly, including the ability to dual wield weapons at higher levels.
  • As the name suggests, the Seal Clubber's weapon of choice is the club. Their trademark Smack skills will never miss as long as they have a club in hand.
  • Seal Clubbers can build up Fury as they defeat enemies. By itself, Fury gives a small boost to Weapon Damage, but they can purchase skills that make use of Fury, such as passive HP regen, a guaranteed Critical Hit, or even banish a monster, preventing one monster at a time from appearing.
  • They are able to summon and fight Infernal Seals which drop varying rewards without using adventures. Make sure to have a club equipped before you encounter them.
  • Seal Clubbers are experts at making advanced weapons. Chrome weapons are very useful, as they give 3 bonus adventures the next day.
  • At highest levels, Seal Clubbers are able to Pulverize equipment into wads, powders, and nuggets which are useful for buffing and bonus adventures.

Turtle Tamer

  • This class relies on Muscle which boosts their HP significantly higher than other classes. Furthermore, Muscle determines their hit ability with melee weapons and also increases damage.
  • Turtle Tamers are experts at reducing damage taken. Their skills are generally more defensive in nature than those of their Seal Clubbing brethren, and include a number of both passive and active defensive boosts.
  • At very high levels, the Turtle Tamer can learn to use Muscle for defense in place of Moxie when using a shield, and to double the power (Damage Absorption) of hats and pants.
  • Turtle Tamers can commune with ancient Turtle Spirits to receive their blessings. These blessings start off relatively low, but slowly increase to significant levels as long as the Turtle Tamer keeps winning battles and sticks with one Turtle Spirit. These blessings also enhance the Turtle Tamer's combat skills, making them even better at combat.
  • Turtle Tamers have the strongest relationship with their Familiars. They have two skills which increase a familiar's effective weight, and one that lets it gain weight more quickly. In a pinch, they can even Toss their familiar as a weapon.
  • Turtle Tamers can create advanced armor and shields.
  • Turtle Tamers have the special ability to find and tame turtles, which results in special rewards which do not require adventures to obtain. These rewards range from crafting materials for stronger equipment, to temporary buffs, to shells to cover their backs with.
  • The duration of the Turtle Tamer's buffs depends on the quality of their totems. Their initial turtle totem provide 5 turns per cast, but can be improved to provide up to 20 turns per cast.

Pastamancer

  • This class is based on Mysticality which means they have neither the hard-hitting physical damage output of Muscle classes, nor the defensive abilities of the Moxie class. Thus, they generally rely on their large MP pool to cast powerful spells to disable and kill their foes.
  • Entangling Noodles should be used in almost every fight due to its ability to disable a foe for 2-4 rounds. Boosting Combat Initiative works well for Pastamancers for avoiding damage thanks to this skill.
  • A Pastamancer's combat spells inflict damage based on a random element. However, there are several ways to "tune" their spells to a particular element (offhand cookbooks, two of which are for sale in the Guild store, or the Flavour of Magic skill at high levels). The Pastamancer's skills can easily deal great amounts of damage in any chosen element.
  • An important concept to casters is that of Bonus Spell Damage. By using certain equipment and buffs, a Pastamancer is able to deal far more damage with a spell than the baseline.
  • Pastamancers have easier access to Chefstaves than Saucerors. Chefstaves provide powerful spell damage bonus and MP regeneration.
  • Pastamancers can summon a Pasta Thrall to aid them in various ways. Some of these cost a lot of MP to summon, but they stick with you until you summon another one. Pasta Thralls also get stronger as they fight, providing extra effects at higher levels.
  • Pastamancers can learn to heal all of their HP with a single skill (Cannelloni Cocoon).
  • Pastamancers have the ability to cook Pasta dishes, summon dry noodles for cooking, and they even gain extra MP recovery from eating Pasta dishes.
  • At highest levels, they are capable of using the Wok of Ages to create exceptional foods, at the cost of Meat and adventures.

Sauceror

  • This class is based on Mysticality which means they have neither the hard-hitting physical damage output of Muscle classes, nor the defensive abilities of the Moxie class. Thus, they generally rely on their large MP pool to cast powerful spells to disable and kill their foes.
  • Most Sauceror spells are either hot or cold based. Unlike Pastamancers, they have difficulty dealing damage in the other elements.
  • An important concept to casters is that of Bonus Spell Damage. By wielding certain equipment and buffs, a Sauceror is able to deal far more damage with a spell than the baseline.
  • Saucerors can learn the ability to gather Soulsauce from fallen enemies, which can be used in a variety of useful ways, such as an on-demand MP regeneration or to stun an enemy.
  • Saucerors can learn Sauce Curses to cast on an enemy, gradually weakening them in combat. Two of these curses can heal the Sauceror on a spell kill. Utilizing these effects to their fullest can keep a Sauceror's HP and MP up high at all times.
  • Saucerors have the ability to summon scrumptious reagents which they can use to cook, or to create special potions which provide powerful buffs. Saucerors get 3 potions per reagent, and each reagent potion lasts 5 extra turns when drunk by a Sauceror, or 10 extra turns if they have also learned Impetuous Sauciness. Non-Saucerors making the same potion with permed skills only get 1 potion per reagent.
  • The duration of the Sauceror's buffs depend on the quality of their saucepans. Their initial saucepan provide 5 turns per cast, but can be improved to provide up to 20 turns per cast.

Disco Bandit

  • This class relies on high Moxie to avoid being hit in the first place. If you are able to keep your Moxie about 9 points higher than the foe's attack value, you will only be hit if the monster achieves a critical hit.
  • Moxie classes can use Pickpocket to attempt to steal an item on the first turn if you gain initiative. Some items can only be obtained by pickpocketing.
  • Disco Bandits should use ranged weapons, which use Moxie to determine their accuracy and damage. Having lots of Moxie allows them to gradually grind down enemies while taking almost no damage and spending little to no MP. This Combat Style is referred to as plinking. Having a strong, sharp knife in their inventory is also beneficial, since they can use these to stab an enemy with certain combat skills.
  • Mid-level Disco Bandits can also use knives as their primary weapon, after learning Tricky Knifework.
  • Disco Bandits can acquire special combat skills that delevel opponents, reducing their ability to attack and defend. Furthermore, their dance moves can give them Disco Momentum which can enhance their combat abilities and give bonuses to Item Drops from Monsters and Stat Gains from Fights.
  • The Disco Bandit specializes in mixing drinks. Their class skills enable them to create special cocktails that provide higher Adventure gains than most regular drinks.
  • Disco Bandits have skills to boost their item and meat drops, as well as a decent healing skill.
  • Disco Bandits get extra benefits from combat items. Thanks to their Deft Hands, combat items deal more damage, and can even stun an enemy briefly. At high levels, they can learn to use multiple combat items per round.
  • At highest levels, Disco Bandits have the ability to use Nash Crosby's Still to improve drink-making components and create superhuman cocktails. It can be used up to 10 times per day.

Accordion Thief

  • This class relies on high Moxie to avoid being hit in the first place. If you are able to keep your Moxie about 9 points higher than the foe's attack value, you will only be hit if the monster achieves a critical hit.
  • Moxie classes can use Pickpocket to attempt to steal an item on the first turn if you gain initiative. Some items can only be obtained by pickpocketing.
  • Accordion Thieves should use ranged weapons - especially accordions - which use Moxie to determine their accuracy and damage. Having lots of Moxie allows them to gradually grind down enemies while taking almost no damage and spending little to no MP. This Combat Style is referred to as plinking.
  • Accordion Thieves have to ability to Steal Accordions from certain enemies, even if they don't appear to be holding one. There are a variety of accordions that can be stolen, each with varying effects.
  • Accordion Thieves are much like a "bard", singing songs to enhance others. Most of their skills are "buffs", meaning they can be used on other players, as well as on the Accordion Thief casting them. Up to 3 of these buffs can be used on a player at any given time.
  • While Disco Bandits prefer to weaken (delevel) their enemies, Accordion Thieves prefer to buff themselves to get the edge. Much of the challenge of playing the AT is picking the best buffs to be active at any given time, and managing the MP for them.
  • Accordion Thieves can make better use out of their equipped accordion by doubling its enchantments, hitting more precisely with it, stunning enemies with it, and unleashing an accordion's inner power for a variety of effects.
  • Note that the duration of each buff is dependent on the quality of their accordion. The starting item, Stolen accordion, gives 5 adventure duration per casting; be sure to not discard this item! With improved accordions, buff duration can reach up to 20 adventures per casting.
  • At level 9, the Accordion Thief has the ability to shop in any guild's store, which is very useful for buying magical mystery juice to restore MP.
  • At the highest levels, an Accordion Thief can learn to hold 4 song buffs at a time.
This page was last modified on 21 November 2014, at 17:09.
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